Grand Prix title for senior men

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Midland COUNTIES

Over the last two weekends the Midland Counties Athletic Championships for U15, U17 and U20 men and women have taken place in Birmingham and Leicester with a number of Rugby & Northampton AC athletes taking part.

Fresh from their recent English School success Luke Townsend (U17 Men) and James Wright (U20 Men) took gold in the 100m Hurdles (13.6s) and 110m Hurdles (14.2s) respectively.

Oliver Teale (U20 Men) took gold in the 200m (22.74s) and bronze in the 100m (11.14s). Emily Waugh (U20 Women) took bronze in 1500m (4:52.90s) and Brittany Wood ( U15 Girls) finished 5th in the final of 80m Hurdles (12.7s). Kerry Murch produced her second longest throw ever to take the U20 Women’s Javelin gold medal with 42.57m.

Undoubtedly the performance of the Championships was by Craig Murch who was declared U20 Men’s Hammer Champion after throwing a new personal best distance of 68.11m, which was also a new Championship Best Performance, breaking the old record that had stood since 1984.

MILTON KEYNES 10K

Mike Aldridge led the Rugby & Northampton men’s team to victory in the Milton Keynes 10k road race.

Competing in the eighth and final race of the East Midlands Grand Prix Series he finished in 4th place with a time of 33 mins 16 secs, which also helped the club to clinch the Senior Men’s title for the whole series.

The squad was further strengthened with the return of Junior Luke Robinson ,currently a student at Nottingham University. The 19-year-old finished in 11th spot on 35.06 when taking the first under 20 prize.

Successfully defending his M45 crown was Greg Spellman when he claimed another age group victory in finishing 15th with 35.30 and closing off the team on the night was Vince Carroll on 37.11 for 36th (M40 9th).

Seb Palmer headed the Senior Men’s overall standings for R&N in 6th place. His performance at Milton Keynes saw him finish only 61st in 38.50, but it was his five top twenty performances early in the series, which gave him that final top ten spot.

The Veteran Men finished 2nd on the night, but third for the series and joining Spellman and Carroll in the team were Alan Mould with 39.37 (M50 8th for the series) and Pete Thomas who recorded 43.30 (M50 11th in series).

Jo Pulsford ran her only race of this years Grand Prix and she finished in 6th place in the Ladies race with 39.58 to head the R&N squad. It was Angela Copson though who set another W65 British record when her time of 42.43 improved the previous best by 34 secs to put her 10th in the race.

Kate Williams crossed the line in 30th spot with 45.21 and although she was 3rd on the night in the W50 event it was enough to hold on to second overall with the Senior ladies finishing 4th in the series.

Completing all eight races Lisa Johnson made the Veteran team for the fourth time when she was timed at 55.02 to give her a series finish of 9th in the W40 category, but for the third consecutive year the R&N team finished as runners-up in the final table.

There was an unfortunate incident when Daisy Melville took the wrong route at 7km and found herself not completing the full 10k when she crossed the finish line.

Because she had previously already completed five races this didn’t affect her overall standing, which was 2nd in the W35 competition, but Melville showed her sheer sportsmanship by declaring her error on the night, while not accepting a prize and was instrumental in getting her name removed from the results.